The superintendent of an Indiana school is facing charges for using her own insurance to aid a student without insurance who had come down with strep throat and was turned away from a clinic. According to The New York Times, Casey Smitherman, the superintendent of Elwood Community School Corporation, is facing charges of misconduct, insurance fraud, insurance application fraud, and identity deception — all for the misuse of her own insurance and footing a bill of $223. While the legality of fraud and deception is not debatable, this situation exemplifies the problems with healthcare and insurance that our fellow citizens often face.
In recent years, we have seen upturns in the universal healthcare movement, such as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, President Donald J. Trump does not seem to put an emphasis on the importance of these systems. Trump and his fellow Republicans have spent most of the first year of his presidency working to repeal the ACA and change the way that our country handles healthcare and insurance. As a result, funding for the advertising of this program has been cut, and Obamacare is slowly being chipped away as a protest against healthcare programs.
Throughout my three years in college, I have noticed the fear that insurance instills within young adults. I have had friends who have made what may seem like unrealistic health choices because of lack of insurance and monetary issues. Some have ignored possible concussions or sprained wrists because the co-pay that comes with a trip to a doctor’s office is out of their price range even with insurance. Others have tried unbelievable home remedies found online to cure anything from urinary tract infections to pink eye because they don’t have adequate insurance.
From the perspective of a student in their 20’s whose deadline to find their own insurance is creeping up, the reality that I cannot remain on my parent’s health insurance past the age of 26 is becoming a major stressor. The threat of having no form of subsidized insurance in the country that I live in is a very scary realization for me. This paired with the fact that there are fewer and fewer jobs available for the next generation that come with a privatized insurance plan as an added benefit leaves our generation with a bleak outlook for our future health. We are rapidly becoming adults who are forced to see insurance as a luxury only few can afford and in turn, are putting more than our wallets at stake.